I have been a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies ever since I became aware of their existence at around age nine in the 1971 season.
That year, Veteran’s Stadium opened virtually in my South Philly backyard.
Over the decades since, I have attended hundreds of games as a paying customer between ‘The Vet’ and Citizens Bank Park, not to mention a few road trip excursions.
I watched the 1970’s team come to power and win the 1980 World Series championship. Even attended Game Two of that Fall Classic as an 18-year old.
I fell in love with the 1993 ‘Macho Row’ squad, still the most fun Phillies season from start to finish that I have ever enjoyed.
And I especially reveled in the greatness of the team from the last decade. The one that rose to power in the late-00’s, won the 2008 World Series, and captured five straight NL East crowns.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
But as we have all had to come to grips with here in the City of Brotherly Love, that time is over now. The Phillies have been losers on the field for the last four years, and are now in the midst of a major rebuilding program.
It is with all those memories in mind that I sit here on Thanksgiving Eve, putting down in words a handful of things that strike me as those for which I am thankful at this time in the club’s history.
Some of these are things that bring me joy regarding the Philadelphia Phillies, and which have little to do with the actual playing of the baseball games.
Others are vital to the team and the playing of those games, to the winning and losing. The decision-making and the moves that have been and still will be made to bring the club back to on-field contending status.